Who am I as a leader?
Who are my employees and how do their identities fit in with the company culture and brand?
In a recent “Management by Shared Mindset” article, authors Dave Ulrich and Wendy Ulrich call upon leaders to be “meaning makers” as the economy crawls out of the recession.
“Leadership shifts from an individual to a team game, from one person as the great leader to a collection of great leaders, and from a leader who starts with personal self-esteem to a leader who instills self-esteem in others.”
As the recession deepened, leaders were called upon to respond quickly and decisively. They charged forward with boldness, confidence and authenticity– making whatever strategic moves they needed to make to keep their company afloat.
But as we come out of the recession, emotions are running high. Great leaders need to be wary of charging forward, making important and transformational decisions without thinking about how employees, customers and investors will see these choices. This unique, transitional time calls for a different type of leadership that helps individuals see that their work has meaning and value, and that they “belong”.
“Memories outlast recessions,” say Ulrich & Ulrich. “The economic recession may have led to an emotional recession at work. In this emotional recession, leaders need not only to make bold business decisions, they also need to be sensitive to the meanings that comes from how those decisions are made.”
Employees want to know “who am I” and how do I fit in…how do I make a difference?
Laura Schroeder at Compensation Café ties this idea into employee retention: “My suggestion is connection because people who feel personally and professionally connected to a company, to a manager, to a group of colleagues, or to a particular job, are more likely to give more of themselves and less likely to go elsewhere.“
“Employees with meaning will be more productive, and that productivity will enhance customer experiences and investor confidence,” Ulrich and Ulrich say.
We’d love to know about the leaders that have brought meaning to your work and formed you into the individual you are today. Who comes to mind?
Read the Ulrich’s article at: http://changethis.com/manifesto/71.05.SharedMindset/pdf/71.05.SharedMindset.pdf